Sunday 3 August 2014


Fynes Moryson, the son of a Lincolnshire gentleman, travelled in Europe to observe local customs and economic conditions. Here are some extracts from his Itinerary Containing His Ten Yeeres Travell, first published in 1617.

  • The citizens of Hamburg have a strong dislike for Englishmen. It is unsafe to walk out of the gates after noon, for when the common people are once warmed with drink, they are apt to do them injury.
  • The porters demand to be paid up front, for this is proper to the Germans that they will be paid ere they begin to work.
  • In Wittenberg Moryson was shown the house in which Luther gently died….but this is not the place where he died, neither was there any bed…They tell many things of Luther which seem fabulous. Among other things they show an aspersion of ink cast by the devil when he tempted Luther.
  • Moryson was not impressed with Wittenberg, a city, where there is nothing but whores, students, and swine.
  • In Dresden he read a Latin inscription of which he approved: Aut nulla ebrietas, aut tanta sit ut tibi curas demat, which he twists a little in his translation: Be not drunken, or no more than may cares assuage.  In my opinion it means: Either don’t get drunk or get so drunk that it takes away your sorrows.
Any Latinists out there want to referee this?

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